Start-up and Break-in

Many debates have been had and wars fought about the initial start-up and break-in steps. Some stick to the instructions while others fire it up and "let 'er rip!".

We believe there is a happy middle ground and some key principles to understand. 

  • You need to break in the engine. This helps set all the seals and flush any microscopic metal shavings still inside the engine from the manufacturer.
  • Whether you follow a 1hr x 1hr x 1hr process, or a 1hr x 5hr x 20 hour process, or the vague instructions that come with it.:
"The break-in period will last about 30 hours of use...DO NOT exceed 75% of the generators running wattage during this period...Change the engine oil after this period." 
 

Personally, I followed some expert and time tested instructions I found over at GeneratorGrid.com 

I like his step by step detailed process so I won't try and re-create one here.

There are a couple things I did in addition. 

  • Replaced the Spark Plug with an iridium one. They are inexpensive and I feel more confident in it than the one that comes with it. I carry the original as a back up in my Generator Parts Kit.
  • I replaced the dipstick with a Magnetic Engine Oil Dipstick. Another inexpensive upgrade that I feel more confident in picking up some more of the metal shavings found in the oil. 
  • I also switched to full synthetic oil after my final break-in oil change. I know a good diesel oil works well also. I am comfortable with the full synthetic. 
  • I fill up my No-Spill Gas Can with Sta-bil fuel stabilizer before I even put in the gas. This way I know the measurements are accurate and I know that if I end up storing it for a longer period the Sta-bil is already in.

The bottom line is that these generators do need a break in period. Sure, as outliers, some will fire one up and not change the oil for 10k hours and be just fine while others will follow a step by step break in period and have an issue in 50 hours. In general, we believe those that do a good break-in period like the one linked above will have generators that last longer and run better.